​​Banyan Elementary School PTA

Newbury Park | California

Abilities Awareness Week




Abilities Awareness Week is a program that gives Banyan students a glimpse of what it would be like to have different abilities. During this is a very exciting and important “life lesson” week, students participate in hands-on activities and learn about what it is like to have different "abilities."  The goal of this week is to help our students understand that we all have a variety of differences as well as similarities and have the need for respect, acceptance, inclusion, and friendship.

This year, our kick-off assembly will be held the morning of Friday, January 26 for grades 3- 5, and we are honored and excited to host Lex Gillete, a blind paraolympic athlete from San Diego who holds the world record for the long jump.  On Friday, February 2, we are pleased to welcome back, deaf/hard-of-hearing dancer, Lark Detweiler and the NPHS Sparkle cheerleaders for our closing ceremony during the Bobcat assembly! Parents, grandparents and friends are welcome to attend both exciting events.

Get Involved!

We need parents, grandparents, and friends to help run 5 unique hands-on stations in the MPR. No previous experience is necessary and step-by-step instructions will be provided. Activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Fine Motor Station: students try to string Froot Loops while wearing socks on their hands
  • Vision Station: students try to put a puzzle together while wearing a blindfold

Volunteers may SIGN UP for one or more sessions.  For more information and to get involved, please contact Jenn Miller, Abilities Awareness Committee Chair. 

About the Nametags Assembly Program
On Friday, January 26th at 8:45am, Lex Gillette, a 4X Paralympic Medalist, will host an assembly to teach resilience and provide inspiration to students in 3rd-6th grades. Lex will share lessons on finding success in the face of adversity, using antidotes from his journey to become the most accomplished, totally blind long and triple jumper in the history of U.S. Paralympics.

Throughout the assembly, Lex will use the One Revolution Foundation motto, “It’s not what happens to you. It’s what you do with what happens to you,” and teach students the 4 Ss of Resilience, questions we ask ourselves when things go wrong. The intentionally universal message encourages students to apply the tools in resilience and see obstacles as opportunities for growth and learning instead of roadblocks. We all face challenges. How we address our challenges determines our success.

Nametags Assembly Program looks at the labels, often the limitations, we put on ourselves and others. Lex will inspire students to challenge those limitations, encouraging them to create Nametags - concrete representations of the goals they want to pursue and the people they want to become.

Parents are encouraged to attend the assembly and access One Revolution’s Parent Toolkit to continue the conversation started by this assembly at home. Please remember to ask your student about the assembly on Friday evening - they will surely be inspired by Lex’s story of resilience, achievement and ability to overcome the labels that have been placed on him.


  2018 | Program Information

  January 26 | Nametags Assembly Program: Grades 3-5

                      Nametags Parent and Teacher Resources

                     Special Guest: Lex Gillete, Paralympic Medalist

  January 29 - February 1 | Sensory Station sessions

  February 2 | Closing Ceremony at Bobcat Assembly

                      Special Guests: Lark Detweiler and Newbury Park High School Sparkle Cheerleaders

Access SignUpGenius to help facilitate our stations | Volunteer times organized by classroom!

Parents, grandparents and friends are welcome to attend our Opening and Closing ceremonies.

For more information, please contact Jenn Miller, Abilities Awareness Committee Chair